I say “our” because my granddaughter Haley and I made it—from a kit, that is. It began with a “crisis” phone call from Haley. She was home. Her mother was out with friends at Christmas party. Dad and Ruby were asleep upstairs, and poor Haley had just made thirty-five phone calls looking for a gingerbread house kit and finally found one at a Walgreens near our house.
So I put on my red cape and went to Walgreens. There I was confounded by the fact that they had two different kits.
I called Haley on the phone. “Which one?
“I can’t see them. Pick one,” she replied, somewhat exasperated at her grandfather’s inability to decide on a gingerbread house.
So I picked one—the one with the best looking packaging. (I did do package design for a living, you know.)
Arriving at Haley’s house, I softly knocked on the door, and Stella (that’s their Boxer) barked. So much for “softly knocking.” Haley answered, and we promptly began the gingerbread construction while her dad and sister blissfully snoozed upstairs.
I have been involved in many product shoots that involved creating the perfect looking elements in a perfect setting that almost always required the services of a stylist of some description to get that perfect image for the ad. I knew that what was on the box cover was an example that could never be achieved in real life by a couple of amateur gingerbread constructionists like Haley and me. We were not thus disappointed in the results.
Thinking I was better qualified to apply the white icing decorations from the squeeze bag than a ten-year-old, I assumed that role. But my windows looked like they were made of melted plastic that oozed and dripped over the sides of the gingerbread like white syrup. About halfway through the process, I passed that job off to Haley, certain she could not possibly do worse.
We were running out of white icing in the little plastic pouch that came with the kit, and Haley dragged out some red icing from a birthday party cake long past. While I was squeezing out the last of white icing from the bag, hoping against hope I could somehow save some of my blundered decorations, Haley was constructing “people” out of a mini Tootsie Rolls with gumball heads. She used the red icing to stick them to the front of the house by the alleged door made out of two chocolate Tootsie Rolls smashed roughly into the shape of a door and stuck on the front of the house with red icing.
After a moment, she stood back and commented on her work. “It looks like a murder scene,” she said, her voice somewhat critical.
I peaked around to her side of the house, and she was right. Her little Tootsie Roll people looked like they had met a “slasher.” There was “blood” everywhere! “Blood” where they stuck to the house. “Blood” on the ground around them. It looked like an attack by ISIS had taken place in the front of our little gingerbread house.
She tried to cover the “blood evidence” with the last of the white icing with only limited success, as you can see in the first image.
As a final touch of “gore”, we added Rudolph as a “trophy mount” over the back door.
Finished, our little gingerbread house bore only a passing resemblance to the one on the box. It was made out of gingerbread and covered with white icing, but in a way that looked like it had been applied by a drunken sailor on shore leave. But it was OURS.